Report: Men's 800m Heats - IAAF World Championships
Provided by IAAF
In the absence of Kenya’s world-leader Emmanuel Korir, who reportedly encountered Visa troubles prior to his trip to Birmingham, it will be 2014 silver medallist Adam Kszczot who will go into the final as the hot favourite for gold.
In an event which could only attract 10 starters, Kszczot has been unbeaten in six competitions this winter and the 2018 IAAF World Indoor Tour winner will head into Saturday’s final with high hopes to add another victory to his impressive collection this season.
The 28-year-old five-time European champion took the second semi-final race with a 1:47.02 clocking, whilst it was the first semi final that enjoyed the fastest pace.
Spain’s Alvaro de Arriba, the European indoor bronze medallist, missed his lifetime best by just 0.01 to claim the race with 1:45.44.
With the leaders passing the 400m mark in 50.32, de Arriba charged from third to first in the closing metres to pip the British hope Elliot Giles for the win.
The 23-year-old European outdoor bronze medallist pleased his local Birchfield Harriers club supporters by improving his lifetime best by over two seconds with 1:45.46 in this, his debut indoor season.
With a 1:44.99 outdoor best from last summer also in his armoury, Giles stands a strong chance of a medal here on his global championships debut.
Another to register a personal best was the USA’s Drew Windle, who ran 0.01 quicker to progress to 1:45.52 in third place behind de Arriba and Giles.
Also to reach the final was Mostafa Smaili of Morocco, the 2016 world junior bronze medallist, who clocked 1:47.08 behind Kszczot and he will be keen to better his sixth position from the 2016 edition of these championships.
The sixth and final qualifying position was claimed by Spain’s 2015 European U23 silver medallist Saul Ordonez who clocked 1:47.11 for third in the second semi final.
Elsewhere, Egypt’s Hamada Mohamed finished in a 1:47.65 national record having set the pace until the 600m point in Kszczot’s race, whilst Donavan Brazier of USA was disqualified for a lane infringement.
Nicola Sutton for the IAAF